Joseph SavirimuthuSenior Lecturer in Law

I’m interested in the legal, ethical, social and technological challenges posed by autonomous systems and robotics as they relate to ageing, healthcare and warfare.

Photo of Joseph Savirimuthu


Joseph Savirimuthu is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool. He graduated with an LL.B Hons (Second Class Upper) from the University of Lancaster (1988) and completed his LL.M in International Business Law at the University of Manchester (1989).

Following his successful completion of the Solicitor Professional Qualifications (Legal Practice Course, 1997) Joseph has balanced his academic and professional activities. He initially specialised in research and teaching of Corporate and Insolvency Law, Intellectual Property Law and Law of Taxation. Joseph's research and teaching principally involves analysing the regulatory challenges and issues posed by new and emerging communication technologies for traditional approaches to governance. Some areas examined include: surveillance, identity theft, corporate information security, child online safety, peer-to-peer file sharing controversies, online dispute resolution and managing personal and corporate identities.

During the past few years Joseph has directed his research towards information governance and has presented papers in Brussels, Hamburg, Washington and Beijing. Joseph has embarked on a project that explores the legal, ethical, social and technological challenges posed by autonomous systems and robotics as they relate to aging, healthcare and warfare. In addition to this his research gives particular prominence to data protection, privacy and security issues as they impact emerging public policy issues. In undertaking this project Joseph aims to blend concepts such as risk, cognitive engineering, bricolage and complexity into legal approaches to regulating algorithms and complex information systems. This approach builds on previous inter-disciplinary approach – drawing on fields such as evolutionary biology, military theory, and complex/systems theory.

Professional Activities

Professional Societies

  • Member, Society of Legal Scholars
  • Member, Association of Law Teachers
  • Member, Socio-Legal Society Association
  • Executive Member, British Irish Law, Education, Technology Association
  • Member, Open Rights Group (NGO)

Editorial Work

  • Two volume special issue on "Identity, Privacy and New Technologies" for the International Journal of Intellectual Property Management (2008/9) (together with R Wong).
  • Editorial Board of the Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology
  • Academic Referee for Journal of Information Law and Technology, Script-Ed (Online Technology Journal) and Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
  • International Reviewer for submissions to the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)

Organization of Conferences, Workshops, Invitations to Speak

  • Plenary, Big Data, Smart Cities and the Internet of Things: The Privacy Question, Liverpool, UK (April 11, 2013) Sponsored by the Conflict and Security Theme
  • Plenary, Autonomous Systems as the Modern Prometheus, Liverpool, UK (April 11, 2013) Sponsored by CAST
  • BILETA Conference, Our Digital Futures: Technologies Without Boundaries, Liverpool, April 11-12, 2013
  • Programme Committee Member, Workshop on Identity, Privacy and Web 2.0 hosted at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and IT, Kleuven, Belgium (Spring 2008)
  • Keynote Address, Hi-Tech Torts: An Unlikely Conversation with Tim Berners-Lee, London School of Economics, March 19, 2013
  • Participation in Roundtable in Brussels “Telemedicine: Managing Risks and Promoting Well-Being, Governance in the Shadow of the Law” at Conference Computers, Privacy and Data Protection, January 2010, Brussels, Belgium.


  • Legal Practice Diploma 1997, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
  • LL.M. (International Business Law) 1989, University of Manchester, UK
  • LL.B. (Hons), 1988, University of Lancaster, UK

Teaching Areas

  • Internet Law
  • Corporate Information Security
  • Privacy, Surveillance and the Law of Social Media
  • Online Child Safety



  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Regulatory Theory
  • Governance Modeling
  • Risk, Uncertainty and Legal Processes

Works in Progress

  • Children’s Rights: The EU Data Protection Reform Agenda and the Problem of Digital Profiling (10,000)
  • Autonomous Automobiles: Law, Risk and Uncertainty
  • Big Data, The Internet of Things and Ambient Technology: The Art of Regulating Algorithms
  • Military Drones and Geographical Space: Reflections from Heidegger
  • Google Glass and the Theory of Things: An Unlikely Conversation with Heidegger?

Selected Publications

  • Savirimuthu, J. 2008. “Identity Principles in the Digital Age: a Closer View” (co-authored) ” Int. J. Intellectual Property Management, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp 396-410 R (article)
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2008. “Identity Theft and the Gullible Computer User: What Sun Tzu in The Art of War Might Teach” Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology, Vol. 3, Issue 2. R (article)
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2008. “All or nothing, this is the question: The application of Article 3(2) Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC to the Internet” (co-authored) John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law. vol 25 (2) , pp. 241-266 R (article)
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2009. “Online Dispute Resolution, Access to Justice and Web 2.0”. In P. Nixon, V. Koutrakou and R. Rawal (eds). Issues and Challenges of E-Government: Experiences from Europe and Beyond. Pp. 131-150. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2011. “The EU, Online Child Safety and Media Literacy” (2011) International Journal of Children’s Rights 19, pp. 547-569.
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2012. Online Child Safety: Law, Technology and Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (monograph)
  • Savirimuthu, J. 2012. “ANPR: Code and Rhetorics of Compliance” European Journal of Law and Technology, December. R (article)
  • Savirimuthu, J “Smart Meters and the Information Panopticon: Beyond the Rhetoric of Compliance” (forthcoming in International Review of Law, Computers, and Technology June Issue)


Children's Rights and Brexit: 'Perspectives and Prospects'

My colleague Jamie-Lee Mooney has informed me that the European Children's Rights Unit is convening a short Conference relating to the Post-Brexit Landscape for Children. It is timely. Here is the rationale for the gathering:

Children did not have a say in the recent decision by the UK electorate to withdraw from the EU. Indeed, children's rights barely featured in the debates leading up to the referendum, and yet it is children who will now bear the full brunt of this devastating decision in the years to come.

The specific goals of the Event are to:

1. Consider children and young people's views about Brexit.

2. Identify key concerns and priorities relating to the Brexit process.

3. Explore how professionals can work alongside children and young people to ensure their needs are met during the Brexit negotiations that will appeal to young people, scholars, practitioners, schools and policymakers.

The conference will involve children and young people, representatives from local and central government, children's rights charities, academics and practitioners and representatives from the Office of the Children's Commissioners.

Date for your Diary: Wednesday September 14th 2016, 1pm – 5pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 3, Rendall Building, University of Liverpool

Register by 9th September - Details


Send me a message

Postal Address:
Liverpool Law School
University of Liverpool

Main Law Building
Chatham Street

L69 3GQ